With my 29th birthday approaching this week, I have been very aware of the fact that my 20’s are quickly slipping away. That, and how my undying love for jelly donuts are bringing the gym and I closer together.
When I talk about getting older with others, I get the usual eye roll from those older than me, telling l me that I still have my whole life ahead of me. However, I have always been the type of person who lives in the moment and lives for right now. I live by the fact that tomorrow is never promised and am very aware of my own mortality. In fact, if you go down the rabbit hole far enough, you’ll find all the unanswered questions I have about life, death, and what comes next. I feel like it is a taboo topic, considering no one wants to step on anyone’s toes or beliefs, and well, it’s freaking scary to think about. But that’s one of the cool things about being human—free will to choose what to believe in, what not to believe in, and the ability to question everything in between. I know a lot of women and men my age also struggle with a similar feeling, trying to figure out who we are and what our place is in the universe.
On one end of the spectrum, you have people who feel so strongly about their faith that they could never be swayed. No science book, lecture hall, or history class could ever change their minds, no matter the proof. On the other end, you have people like me who aren’t really sure anything divine actually exists. I think admitting that you have no idea what the hell you believe in might actually be better than going your whole life believing in something without truly knowing why. I think it’s healthy and common for the human mind to think outside of the norm and search for their connection with the universe. Cue nature.
If you’ve ever stood on top of a mountain after a grueling hike or at the rim of a canyon at sunset, you’ve certainly found yourself with a whole new baggage of feelings. An onslaught of emotions and thought take place, followed by both doubt and wonderment. And then, after the whirlwind is over, you are left with a calm sense of peace and unmatched awareness. All seems right in the world; you leave any struggle you’ve ever endured up there on that mountain. Using the outdoors to let your emotions speak for you is not only common, but welcomed. The therapy you get from being outside is far greater than any prescription that can ever be written, and your sleeping bag is a hell of a lot comfier than any therapist couch you may lay on. Waking up to scents of pine and birds saying good morning far outweighs any morning lying bed, dreading the coming day.
I think when you start to figure out where your place is and what you believe in, you become more grateful for Mondays. The fact that you are alive right now, listening to your heart beat as you read these words, speaks more about what is truly important in life. You are given an opportunity every single day to change the person you are, to be someone else, and to be better. And if you haven’t figured out yet what you believe in or what to put your faith in, you aren’t alone. Maybe for those of us who haven’t figured it out yet, maybe we aren’t supposed to. Maybe we are the ones who are supposed to question everything and ask all the “taboo” questions and write all the things that no one wants to talk about. If that is my place in the universe, I am cool with that. I give my gratitude to nature for getting me there, and I embrace what is to come. In the mean time, getting outside is always going to be my church, my outlet, and my escape. I find serenity eating lunch on a rock in a meadow or driving down a sun-lit road at dusk. Find what speaks to you, and let that be what you put your faith in. If your faith is nature, God, or a jelly donut, go for it. Life is short, and we should spend it appreciating what is around us and the people in our lives. Love one another, be kind to one another, recycle your plastics, and get outside.
This blog was written by Sarah Ann, Colorado Ambassador.